Sunday, February 2, 2014

Boundaries Bring Respect

I found this old blog post on another blog that I've since made private. I decided to post it here because it's pretty darn good and may help someone... Namaste 

When you set a boundary with someone and that person walks away, you can be sure you did the right thing. If someone walks away when you set a boundary, it means that their intentions were foul from the get-go. It's just as well that someone who doesn't respect you just keep walking out the door.

If you set a boundary and someone aggressively ignores it, you know it's time for you to assert yourself, give consequences and stick to those consequences. 

Setting boundaries is your own responsibility. No one else on this planet is responsible for protecting your own inner-resources. No one can do it for you. You must stand up and put a barrier between you, your goodness, your virtue, your friendship, your attention, your everything--and the world.

My background, as many of you know, has been wrought in abuse.  I learned to believe that I had no rights. I had to do anything and everything that my abusers--or anyone else--wanted me to do. In fact, I was conditioned to believe that not only must I give into anyone who wanted anything from me, but also, that it was my job to PROVE to that person that I was a "nice person," a "good girl" and worthy of love. I was taught to be a nothing. I was taught to give myself away to anyone who demanded it. Child abuse caused me to think, act and feel like I was worthless.

Today that has all changed. I am a new person now. I have gone back through the mess--all the lies, the abuse and exploitation that I've endured. I have done a lot of HARD WORK to re-program my mind to protect myself properly instead of cowing down to pressure.

I must admit. Making the transition from doormat to an Equal Lover has not been easy. This is because my brain is still conditioned--thus synapses are strong--to allow others to easily take advantage of me. But, every time I challenge those old false beliefs, and act in a way that honors myself and protects that which is me, I start to get better and better. More and more practice. I am re-wiring my own brain! It's astonishing.

I equated love with giving everything I had away. I equated love with lying down and allowing others to stomp on me, abuse me, hurt me and exploit me. I equated love with being "nice" and doing what others expected of me. Even though I acted all tough on the outside, inside I was a scared little girl, willing to do anything to please others because I thought that would bring me love.

Well, now I see that love is not that. Love starts with loving yourself. You have to be a person, a whole person and that means, you must have lines that cannot be crossed. You must be willing, at any moment and under any circumstances, to walk away from anyone who does not respect your boundaries, that is your separate identity and all the rights that entails.

When you start putting up boundaries, it feels awkward. You feel like people won't like you because you've set boundaries. I've found that the opposite is true. Erecting boundaries is a great Litmus Test to see the true intentions of those around you. If the person's intentions are not good, the person will walk away when you set a boundary. It means that he or she is not willing to accept you as an individual with human rights. It means that he or she is not willing to see you and respect you. If that is the case, you have one thing to say--BYE!

If the person's intentions are good, then he or she will respect you. Once respect is established, the relationship can flourish over time. You can give parts of yourself as YOU SEE FIT. You are not REQUIRED to give anything up in order to keep the person near you, or to prove yourself or to get that person to like or love you. You CHOOSE to give up parts of yourself because you want to experience the joy of giving and receiving and sharing and connecting. You are coming into the relationship with a full heart, ready to give and receive rather than an empty heart, desperate to be filled.

Eventually setting boundaries gets easier. At first, it is a stunt that takes a lot of thought. Then as you set boundaries, you begin to love yourself more and gain self respect. Your boundaries give you definition, thus there is more you to love. Your boundaries give the world more of yourself to love. Your boundaries confirm your identity. As you repeatedly protect your own best interests, eventually, this practice comes automatically. You begin to attract people in your life who are better for you, even as people with unscrupulous motives are repelled by you. Good riddance!


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